Document Type

Book Chapter


This chapter represents part of a paper prepared for a seminar delivered at GEXcel, Linköping, in May 2008. The ideas that follow are what I consider to be ‘new’ ways of thinking about hegemony and hegemonic masculinity and in that respect the paper is a ‘work-in-progress’ within the frame of GEXcel’s Theme 2 Deconstructing the Hegemony of Men and Masculinities. Specifically, this work seeks to introduce and develop in the first section the idea and importance of what I have referred to as “hegemonic principles” (see Howson, 2006, 2007; Howson and Smith, 2008) for understanding the nature and operation of the ‘hegemonic’ within hegemony. The second section introduces and shows the operation of the ‘hegemonic’ in particular hegemonic masculinity as an “empty signifier” (see Laclau, 1996, 2005) and that through this form of signification hegemony is produced and maintained.